29-Apr-2010 8:23 AM

JAL Group announces route, flight frequency and fleet plans for FY2010

Japan Airlines (JAL) stated (28-Apr-2010) that revisions will be made to a part of the route, flight frequency and fleet plan for 1HFY2010, with the carrier also deciding on plans for 2HFY2010 - see Route Changes Table for more information. Details include:

  • Purpose: JAL stated it has restructured its network with the "clear objective of returning to profitability as swiftly as possible" by creating a "solid business model that can withstand the fluctuations in economic conditions and by generating profits without overly relying on future traffic demand";
  • Fleet plan: The plan includes the retirement of B747-400 and A300-600 aircraft by the end of the current fiscal year;
  • Network plan: The plan includes the "bold" withdrawal from several overseas regions and the drastic contraction in the size of operations. The carrier will discontinue services on 15 international routes with 86 weekly services, as well as on 30 domestic routes with a maximum of 58 daily services (excluding seasonally-operated flights). In addition to the changes made since FY2009, JAL will end operations on 28 international routes with the closure of 11 overseas bases while domestically, 50 routes will be terminated along with eight offices;
  • Capacity reductions: The international and domestic passenger capacity (ASK) will as a result of the reductions be reduced by 40% and 30% respectively compared with levels in FY2008;
  • Cost reductions: The plan is formulated to achieve within one year, substantial reductions in the airline's fixed costs, a target which was initially planned to be accomplished over three years.

Further details of the changes to the carrier's international and domestic destinations include:

  • Operations at Tokyo Narita and Haneda: While the overall scale of the airline's international passenger operations will shrink by 40%, JAL will expand the use of Haneda Airport for international flights to maintain a global network with a focus on pivotal routes that can yield higher business demand. Capitalising on Haneda Airport's strategic location in metropolitan Tokyo, Japan Airlines plans to almost triple the number of international flights operating from the airport from five daily flights to 14. In addition to the short-haul flights within Asia , JAL intends to utilise late night and early morning slots at the airport to launch new routes to San Francisco, Honolulu, Paris and Bangkok. JAL will also leverage on Narita Airport as a global hub that serves as a link between North America and Asia.
  • Operations at Kansai (Osaka) and Chubu (Nagoya): While JAL maintains its forte is operating short-haul Asia flights and flights to Honolulu from Kansai and Chubu airports, the airline plans to advance with the use of smaller aircraft to improve profitability. The configuration of B737-800 on the Kansai-Gimpo (Seoul) route however, will be changed from a 144-seater to one with a capacity for 176 in order to "capture the healthy demand on that route";
  • International route suspensions: The carrier will suspend 14 routes (excluding termination of Narita-San Francisco service once Haneda-San Francisco services are launched) and close seven overseas office in Sao Paulo, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, Brisbane, Denpasar and Kona, in addition to previously announced office closures in Hangzhou, Qingdao, Xiamen and Mexico City;
  • International flight frequency reductions: On Narita-Incheon and Narita-Guam services;
  • International route suspensions/flight frequency reductions upon commencement of Haneda services: Covering five routes, affecting 35 weekly services;
  • New routes from 31-Oct-2010: On nine routes;
  • Aircraft changes: On 12 routes;
  • Domestic services: Aimed at improving profitability of the business in the face of low traffic demand, domestic passenger operations will be reduced by 30%, achieved through flight discontinuations and frequency reductions on underperforming routes and by using smaller aircraft;
  • Domestic route suspensions: Covering 30 domestic routes, including services operated by subsidiary airlines (Japan TransOcean Air, JAL Express, Japan Air Commuter, Ryuku Air Commuter). The carrier added it is considering reducing its stake in Hokkaido Air System (HAC), following which HAC operated services will not be considered part of JAL Group operations;
  • Domestic frequency reductions (from 01-Oct-2010): Effecting eight services;
  • Domestic service suspension (from Mar-2011): Effecting five services, with further reduction plans beyond 31-Oct-2010 to be announced at the end of Aug-2010. [more]

Want More News Like This?

CAPA Membership gives you access to all news and analysis on the site, along with access to many areas of our comprehensive databases and toolsets.
Find Out More